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Yet Another Tanker vs Brute: Street Justice/Willpower

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5 hours ago, Psyonico said:

Depends on what you want to do with it.  A brute will do better damage, but a tank will survive and maintain aggro better

and this is the common wisdom, that anybody can read for themselves in game, but do the numbers and actual experiences support this for this particular combination of sets?  Furthermore, I've historically found tankers to be less survivable than brutes, specifically because they can't kill stuff as fast, and dead enemies don't do as much damage as living enemies.. so we need to ask, is the difference in damage, or the difference in survivability going to be more meaningful in this case.. and some of that of course depends on what your fighting.


  Now willpower at least says it doesn't have any real "holes" (I don't know if that's true or not, but it's how the set is sold)..  it simply doesn't do as well against "Alpha strikes".. IE.. until you start debuffing/controlling/killing a mob, willpower should be a little iffy no matter what your fighting. Once the mob is being handled, willpower should be strong no matter what your fighting.  I also expect that a Tanker would be able to handle that initial alpha a little better than a Brute.. and I'm pretty sure a living Tanker does more damage than a dead Brute.. so once again the question is "How much does the defensive disparity actually come into play?"


  On the other hand, as mentioned, KILLING/controlling/debuffing mobs will get your character out of that "Alpha" phase faster, so the damage difference can come into play in keeping your character alive, but street justice also has some controls and debuffs which might make a difference.


  In other words, while @Psyonico 's comment might be entirely correct, I think the subject deserves a more detailed discussion

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The difference is not as large now, and once we enter the 50s range, everyone slotted, incarnated, even in solo mode a Tanker can quickly kill half a spawn and it is not the 3-4 remaining lieuts and a single boss that will be a problem (this applies to Brutes as well). Where the survivability comes in is versus tricky enemies. Bio armor VS ITF will eat a Brute alive trying to solo a spawn where a Tanker will handle it.


As you mention there are subtleties. A team helps, a team that helps killing faster helps even more. If we are down to 2-3 enemies after the initial AoE volley what is there to fear? If we are solo even at +4x8 we decimate all the minions be it Brute or Tanker. What sort or enemies? Council are complete pushovers and have become CoH's XP fodder, but no one dares to do that with Carnies or Devouring Earth. The factions 'no one dares to' is where the extra survival would make a difference.


While leveling is where we notice the defense differences more. Once at 50, everyone with a nuke, everyone with a party wide Destiny, everyone IOed to the gills, what is there really to fear?

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As Hardboiled said, Willpower doesn’t have any “holes.” So while you might have some resistance/defense to all, it’s pretty average. Which means the Brute will be much harder to build. It’s probably not impossible, but to get to 90% res to Smash/Lethal would be very hard to do with the Brute and would require sacrificing other set bonuses. I’d go Tank. But seeing as how I’m currently in a Tank phase, I’m biased. If I had made a Brute instead of the Tank I made I might be telling you how fun Brutes are. 

Edited by Camel
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I have noticed that on defense-based sets like shield, SR, and Ice, where defense debuff resistance is a real issue, the survivability differences between brutes and tankers seems almost negligible. but on sets that rely on a combination or are 'middle of the road' against normal content, such as fire and willpower the tanks seem to survive much more aggression.
in a low-inspiration environment (big teams) or an environment where there's little damage buffing, Brutes seem to weigh in much better DPS wise than tankers, but in an environment where everyone stay near cap, Tanks and brutes tend to perform similarly.
Tanks hold aggro vastly better than brutes, not only because of their longer punchvoke duration, but also because of the larger radius on their aoe's and taunt effects.
But soloing? Brute's 'easy' higher damage tends to result in vastly faster inspiration collection, which means vastly more time spent at damage cap, which means much, much faster.

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